Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

If you ask anyone around, they’ll tell you I love a deal. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t?! I’m always BOGOing, clearance shopping, and cutting coupons (hey, don’t judge, I live in NYC and rent is expensive!). So, when my local grocery store (which charges way too much for food) asks me for my email to receive coupons, you’re damn right I give them my personal AND business accounts!

Last week I got a “free rotisserie chicken with $50 purchase,” coupon. Doubly excited because

1. If you remember from last week’s post, I had just started eating meat again, and

2. Fairway charges an obscene amount for an uncooked whole chicken, so I can’t imagine what they’d charge for a convenenient, already prepared one.

So, I “purchased,” said chicken getting a little thrill when the $11.99 came off my bill. Since this particular week I had worked 7 days in a row at the hospital, I was excited to “cheat” and have an already prepared meal to eat. My first meal since starting to eat meat again.

I wish I could tell you it was mouthwatering.

But it wasn’t.

I had to chug a glass of water to get the piece of chicken down my gullet. It was soooo dry. So dry in fact, that I went back to the grocery store (now concocting a conspiracy theory in my head: “Oh yeah, they give you a free chicken that’s so dry, you gotta go back to spend more money on ingredients for a sauce. “

I’m fearful the cashier got the brunt of my frustration. He must have been confused because 20 minutes earlier I was beaming with pride on my “free,” chicken and now was cursing on the way out the door. 

I have to say though, I’m glad that this was my reintroduction into a diet with meat. Because it reminded me that meat isn’t AMAZING. It’s ordinary. But as with any dish, you can make the ordinary, extraordinary with a few simple tweaks. So, without further ado (because I know you’ve all been questioning where this rant is going)– my sweet and sour chicken recipe. 

Yields: 2 chicken breasts and 1 ½ cup sauce

Prep Time: 35 minutes| Cook Time: 20 minutes| Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp ketchup

2/3 cup pineapple juice

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 chicken breasts

  1. In a bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch until smooth. 
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remainder of ingredients (except for chicken). Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add water/cornstarch mix, whisking to combine. Reduce to simmer X 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool. 
  3. Marinate chicken with half of the sauce in a ziplock bag or bowl X ~30 minutes. 
  4. Preheat oven to 400°.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and cook chicken X ~20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155° (see note below). 
  6. Pour remaining sauce over chicken just prior to serving or reserve as a dipping sauce. 

The Cook’s 2 Cents:

  • You can substitute any white vinegar if you don’t have rice wine vinegar.
  • The health department recommends chicken to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°. However, I’ve found that if you cook it this long it’s too dry. (Probably what happened to my rotisserie chicken.) If planning to reheat for later (in the microwave for example), I’d shoot for 145°. If eating right away, 155° will do. 

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: ¼ cup sauce

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Calories: 188   Fat: 2g             Sodium: 49mg            Carbs: 23g       Fiber: 0g          Sugars: 21g     Protein: 20g

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